Last year Room 214 became one of two enterprise level partners of Crimson Hexagon, a leading provider of real-time market research. Crimson Hexagon is powered by technology spun primarily from Harvard University Professor and Crimson Hexagon Co-Founder, Gary King.
I recently caught up with Gary for a podcast, and am sharing a condensed version of our discussion with you as part of this post. Additionally, I’ve included my “Top 5 Things to Know” based largely on my experience and discussions with Lauren Maynard, who works with the tool almost daily as Room 214’s Director of Research.
Podcast Show Notes
1. We discuss the original intent of Crimson Hexagon’s technology, and Gary references the “disaster” of attempting to use documented practices for extracting meaning from large volumes of textual content.
2. Gary discusses how Crimson Hexagon overcame the challenges associated with common linguistic analysis by developing something I have come to refer to as their “proportional estimate” methodology.
3. I ask about the accuracy of data and validation methodology. Gary explains in detail.
Note: Gary sometimes refers to posts, tweets, blogs, etc as “documents.” Between his knowledge of the subject matter and natural train of thought, you may find yourself needing to listen to certain sections more than once. The last two minutes of the podcast, when he talks about people/messages basically saying the same thing over and over again, are my favorite.
The Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Crimson Hexagon
I’d like to quickly preface this by saying Room 214 is a tool-agnostic agency. My objective is not financial compensation from Crimson Hexagon for saying nice things about them or even selling their offerings.
It is instead to evaluate, recommend, use and help optimize business intelligence and social media monitoring tools from any number of technology providers my agency deems praiseworthy. This is the best way we know how to continue matching effective solutions to our clients’ requirements (ok, end of my pitch).
1. Crimson Hexagon Accounts for Consumer Variation
Consideration of varied language use is important because it can vary greatly by consumer segment. For example, 12 year olds and 45 year olds might describe something they love very differently, but at the core their statements are both saying, “We love this” or “We are going to watch this.” Identification and categorization of both types of conversation is valuable.
2. Crimson Hexagon Research Enables a Thesis
Using the same set of keywords, and assuming a given volume of subject matter, a question can be asked and subsequently answered. Example: For a TV show, questions ranging from intent to view to sentiment reaction can be answered. Most tools require manual sorting through piles of posts based on keywords and inferred trends. Crimson Hexagon can factually and correctly capture trends pertaining to the question being asked within a given set of posts.
3. Crimson Hexagon Enables the Training of Their Algorithm
We have been at this kind of work (leveraging social media business intelligence and monitoring tools) for about three years, so can appreciate that many of these tools are essentially in their infancy. Still, it wasn’t that long ago we joked about providers needing to activate the “army of midgets” behind the Wizard of Oz curtain in order to get calibrations/adjustments done due to poor data filtering or off-target monitoring.
Today, one of our favorite things about Crimson Hexagon is the ability to make their tools work more effectively without the need to give them a call. This is a huge time saver, allows us to better optimize the tools for relevant results and positions our analysts in the driver’s seat when it comes to delivering value.
4. Crimson Hexagon Helps Narrow the Research
The first steps of keyword refinement are made easier with Crimson Hexagon’s visualizer functionality. The visualizer helps us understand how to better narrow a search, and may even reference items that might be missing. This has made our process more efficient, providing automated assistance towards cleaner, more targeted results.
5. Crimson Hexagon Understands Customer Service
This might sound cliché, but we are all basically in the customer service industry (living in the “thank you economy”). We have somewhat of a unique partnership, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that Crimson Hexagon responds to us very quickly. We’ve had other “partners” that didn’t. This makes a huge difference, because the more we use their tools, the more we need to work through nuances. They have consistently demonstrated a willingness to help refine searches, take feedback and give tips and insights with respect to updates.